Emergent local initiative and the city: the case of neighbourhood associations of the better-off classes in post-1990 urban Turkey
Sage Publications Ltd.
2547 - 2566
Item Usage Stats
This article investigates the voluntary local organisations of the better-off classes in the Turkish urban context. Based on empirical research conducted with four neighbourhood associations (NAs), information is provided regarding their process of establishment, leadership, autonomy, goals and projects, resources and obstacles, which points to the significance of context. The research demonstrates that Turkish NAs differ from those in the West in terms of their commitment to ideological as much as pragmatic issues. In their response to the 'Islamist' versus 'secularist' polarisation in society, they seek to create their own localities as the places of secular and cosmopolitan people; and in their response to the increasingly unregulated and poorly serviced city, they struggle to create orderly localities protected from unlawful rent-seeking practices and equipped with adequate amenities. The NAs may be regarded as civic initiatives that empower the locality. Yet, by doing so, they may cause uneven development in urban space.